Teemu Suninen claimed a dramatic back-to-back WRC 2 victory at PZM 73rd Rally Poland on Sunday to pile the pressure on championship leader Elfyn Evans.
The Finn, winner of the previous round in Italy, was on course to take second behind fellow countryman Esapekka Lappi. But in treacherous conditions Lappi punctured a tyre in the penultimate stage and his near-20sec advantage was wiped out.
Suninen eased his Skoda Fabia R5 through the final test to clinch a third victory of the year by 49.6sec and slash Evans’ advantage to five points.
“Now is the time to smile,” said Suninen. “We have pushed on the limit all weekend and now we are the winners. It was good to fight with Evans and Lappi, who have factory cars and more experience.”
Suninen was an unlikely winner after slipping to third following this morning’s opening stage. Evans topped the times in his Ford Fiesta R5 to climb ahead but slipped back again in the following stage. A rear right puncture in the penultimate test ended the Welshman’s hopes.
Evans finished 1min 43.1sec clear of Lappi’s Fabia R5 while the heavily rutted penultimate stage created havoc for many more competitors.
Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Karl Kruuda punctured, Scott Pedder retired with broken suspension after rolling earlier in the morning, Jaroslaw Koltun damaged his suspension and Sander Parn and Hubert Ptaszek both stopped before the test was halted.
Following the carnage, European champion Kajetanowicz finished fourth in a Fiesta RS with Koltun and Loubet completing the top six. Early leader Pontus Tidemand recovered to seventh after broken suspension sidelined him on Friday.